Stats show that 8 out of 10 HR managers are worried about employee engagement and retention, but many are afraid of doing what it takes to keep employees engaged and loyal.
Employees need feedback from time to time – it is not only a requirement from an administrative point of view but also a necessary aspect of job satisfaction for workforces.
However, the feedback must be delivered positively while encouraging progress, and appreciating the growth they’ve shown. However, that is easier said than done, as witnessed by thousands of disgruntled employees who feel underappreciated for contributions they have made to the progress of their organization.
Sure, feedbacks are just as much about progress as they are about pinpointing problematic behaviors and avenues for improvement. They are best delivered directly and honestly, while also being constructive.
Now, what do we mean by constructive criticism?
The feedback that tells an employee of their weaknesses or helps them improve their performance is constructive criticism – and it only happens when both parties are honest and reciprocative of each other goals for the meeting.
Sugarcoating with fake compliments can have detrimental effects on their performance – they might take it as a sign of excellent performance when it is not.
On the other hand, being overly critical, cynical, or threatening while delivering bad feedback is also a recipe for disaster. It can demotivate employees severely, causing further decline in their performance.
For your criticism to be constructive, it has to be clear and solution-oriented. Using vague descriptions only confuses your employees and decreases their engagement.
But not many people take negative feedback well – some get defensive, while others take it personally. It can be a blow to their egos, and the ones humble enough to consider it without expressing anger might lose their self-esteem in the process.
A study by Emerald Insight suggests that even though some forms of unfavorable feedback can trigger an adverse reaction, overall, employees are motivated to improve their performance when they perceive the input to be credible, high-quality, and delivered in a considerate manner.
The best way to build a good rapport with your employees is to be compassionate.
Why Compassion Is Important While Giving Feedback
Compassion softens the blow and helps employees let their guard down – they are more likely to hear you out if they are not feeling attacked.
Not letting your feedback come off as a put-down can be hard when you’re dealing with multiple workers, all coming from different backgrounds and situations – you never know what may trigger them.
In such cases, use your empathy, picture yourself in their shoes, and feel what they are struggling with; you’ll know what to say and how to say it to make them feel understood.
When they know you are being as considerate as possible – your tone is softer, your manner is warm, you are addressing their flaws in private while being empathetic – they are going to feel connected and respected.
It develops a sense of trust; they realize you want the best for them and not just for yourself or the company. That’s where you get the chance to understand their goals and show them how they align with the company’s interests.
The key is to let them know you are rooting for them – because they are going to believe in you when they know you want the best for them.
Feedback is vital to your company’s growth but hard to deliver constructively. Managers often struggle to maintain the right balance when giving honest advice.
However, it is essential to understand that clear, concise, and precise feedback can go a long way in maintaining employee engagement as well as reducing the turnover. Your feedback should also be honest, constructive, and compassionate to have a positive effect on the morale of your workforce.
Lack of either of these elements can reduce the overall productivity of the company and cause employees to switch to other places.
At the end of the day, maintaining the right organizational culture, feedback loop, and keeping the workplace environment from turning toxic is essential to the progress of a business.